Salone del mobile: Werner Aisslinger designs an innovative and familiar bench for Porro

14 May 2024

Studio Werner Aisslinger

Designed for convivial but also waiting environments, the Quilt bench by Aisslinger for Porro is innovative both in the structure and the concept.

The first collaboration between Werner Aisslinger and Porro dates to the 1990s, a close yet very different era if we think about the style of the furnishings and the concept of the interiors of the time. On that occasion Aisslinger designed the Endless bookcase for the company, a success that has now become an icon.

Aisslinger and Porro meet, again, today to present a new project that reflects the current concept of interior design that looks at hybrid and flexible environments in which work, and conviviality meet and alternate.

And here is Quilt, the bench presented at the last Salone del Mobile, padded and enveloping, designed for convivial, working and waiting moments and completely innovative compared to traditional benches, as Aisslinger himself explained.

Porro | Quilt | Aisslinger

What do you present for Porro?

Today we present Quilt, a sort of new type of furniture because it is a bench that can also be used in contract contexts, but our aim is mainly to use it for the dining table, meeting table.

This idea was born when Lorenzo Porro told me “There are many chairs in the world, why don’t we make a bench?” Benches have always been there, made of wood, but not padded and we thought it was a new and interesting typology for the public. Because, if you have a dining table and two benches you can sit next to a friend and chat, you are not divided. If you have children, you can have them next to you, the feeling is more of community, each one is not separated in their own chair. So, the concept behind it is a sort of “collective table”.

And does it also save you space?


What guided the choice of materials and colors?

There is a metal structure with two or more legs. The structure is very essential but since there could be two or three people seated and therefore reach a weight of 200 or 300 kg it is necessary for there to be a certain stability. We also tested wooden structures, but they would have been too thick and we wanted them thinner. This is why to support the weight in a thin structure we opted for metal and the upholstery is classic and goes around the backrest so that you can lean on it and appreciate the friendly character of the furniture like a sofa.

Porro Quilt Bench

Thinking about the dining area in which it will be located, are we moving towards a new way of understanding this space, therefore not only for eating meals but also for spending time in company?

After Covid, remote working has increased, many people work from home at least a couple of days a week. So the table for a family or a home is no longer just for eating but also a meeting place for the family and beyond. You open your laptop, reply to some emails and maybe your children do their homework and each has different things to do at the table which becomes open to a greater variety of uses. You spend more time there, not just to eat and this is changing.

Porro | Aisslinger

In general, in your work as a designer what is your approach to new projects?

I have been a product designer for half my business life and today I run a studio with forty people in which we dedicate ourselves mainly to hospitality projects.

Spatial skills have changed my approach to design because you see objects more in relation to space whereas before I saw objects as products. This has also changed my approach to the design of things, you look at other elements as points of reference and my contract work also influences my design. I look more at the context, and this is a new approach for me.

Watch our exclusive interview with Werner Aisslinger on Instagram

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